Third Māoriland Film Festival 2016 holds much promise

F_R_MFFLogoMāoriland Film Festival 2016 will run during Easter Weekend, providing a perfect opportunity for all to take time out to watch some of the world’s best indigenous films.

No need to be stuck in traffic because all our venues are within an easy stroll of each other on Ōtaki’s Main St.

The festival begins on Wednesday with a pōwhiri at Raukawa Marae.

This year, for the first time, we are honoring a film champion. This inaugural champion is filmmaker Larry Parr who is also the chairman of Te Runanga o Raukawa and the Television Funding Manager at Te Mangai Paho. Larry is a prominent film producer and director with credits including Came A Hot Friday, Sleeping Dogs, A Soldiers Tale and many many more. Screenings of several of Larry’s films will take place on Wednesday afternoon in the wharenui at Raukawa Marae.

The Māoriland Keynote address in Rangiātea Church will be presented by Te Waihoroi Shortland, an award winning actor and writer and presenter in film and television. His credits include 8 feature films and numerous shorts. Festival goers who have attended the previous Keynote address (Tainui Stephens 2014, Lawrence Makaore 2015) will agree that this is an event worth attending and can be assured Te Waihoroi won’t disappoint.

Director Libby Hakaraia has surpassed herself with the quality of films secured for this year’s programme. To date there are 12 feature films, 14 feature documentaries and 60 short films confirmed.

Amongst the lineup are award winning films from USA, Canada, Hawaii and Philippines, Iran, Australia, Scandanavia, all around the Pacific and of course Aotearoa.

One of MFF2016’s “must see” screenings is the latest homegrown movie MAHANA, directed by the internationally acclaimed Lee Tamahori. It is an enthralling story of feuding families based on Witi Ihimaera’s novel, Bulibasha. It has a stellar lineup with Temuera Morrison as the proud, traditionalist patriarch, Nancy Brunning as his wife and Jim Moriarty as the arch-rival and introduces us to another new young star, Akuhata Keefe from Tolaga Bay. Mahana will be released into cinemas in early March, so Māoriland are privileged to have such early access. Watch this space for who will be here to support this!

Another NZ film that is sure to draw the crowd is Tammy Davis’ hot hip-hop dance movie Born To Dance, and better still, it will be a free whanau Screening – outdoors if the weather permits. An extra special event to complement this will be a hip hop workshop for rangatahi and the world champion hip hop crew The Royal Family who feature in the film are being sought to lead this workshop.

If you want to preview NZ’s up and coming talent then don’t miss The E Tu Whanau Rangatahi Film Challenge where young filmmakers get to show their films on the big screen. One of 2015’s entries went on to become a winner of The Outlook For Someday Film Competition. There will be international Festival Directors here checking this out!

MFF is not just about watching films, it is about engaging with the people who make the films. This year we will be hosting our largest contingent of international guests, all of whom come to share their stories, our lives and our community for the week.

Why not take the opportunity this year to attend some of the workshops; the making of the Disney film Moana, Weta Workshop, Royal Family for Rangatahi and workshops facilitated by actors, directors, camera, sound and lighting, producers and distributors.

Waitangi Day

The 2016 Programme will be launched on Waitangi Day.

MFF has been invited to present films at the Wellington Councils Celebrations in Waitangi Park so if you are there come and say kia ora!


Tickets will be go sale at this time and can be purchased via our website or direct at or catch up with us in the Māoriland Piri Pod (caravan) at the Kite Festival and other spots around the district.

We will have a ticketing office up and running a couple of weeks before the festival.

There were a number of sell out screenings last year so don’t miss out – book early.

Tena koutou